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Clean teeth - healthy teeth

Acceptable oral hygiene is reflected in impeccably clean teeth with no visible food rests, and gums pink in colour which do not bleed when brushed or cleaned with dental floss. Good oral hygiene does not protect only teeth and the supporting teeth structure but also other remote organs like the heart, blood vessels, kidneys and joints, at the same time being a cheaper method than any dentist's treatment.

Most common oral problems, caries and gum diseases, result from insufficient and inappropriate oral hygiene.

Caries appears as a result of unclean or insufficiently cleaned teeth. It is more common among young people. Although enamel is the hardest tissue in the organism, it is dissolved by acids produced by bacteria in plaque, soft deposits and tartar. Mouth cavity is home to many permanent micro-organisms like saprophagous micro-organisms, many other bacteria and fungi. However, caries will not appear if there are no soft deposits, plaque or tartar.

After every meal, especially when the food is soft and sticky, its particles remain on teeth creating soft deposits. Bacteria grow here causing a membrane to form and stick firmly to the tooth. This soft, yellowish layer is called plaque. It cannot be washed away but has to be brushed off. Soft deposits and plaque get mineralised and turn into tartar, a hard layer on teeth which cannot be removed even by brushing.

Periodontitis is the disease of the supporting teeth apparatus. It is caused by bacteria from soft deposits, plaque and tartar and is more common among adults. First changes appear on gums which turn red and bleed when they are brushed. Patients also complain about bad breath. If not treated the inflammation can get deeper into the tissue around the teeth and cause infection of the alveolar bone, its resorption and the creation of periodontal pockets. The gums pull away from the teeth leaving deep pockets where bacteria can grow and damage the bone that supports the teeth. Gums can also shrink back from the teeth. This can make the teeth look longer. Teeth may become loose or fall out.

The best way to prevent these problems is to develop the habit of cleaning your teeth early. It is of vital importance to create the routine of cleaning your teeth after every meal and between-meal, especially before going to bed. More and more attention has been paid recently to dental health. It is stressed that the early start of dental care is of primary concern. Dental health influences the quality of your life. A nice smile contributes to your appearance and healthy teeth provide for a healthy and correct diet.

There are a lot of ways to look after your teeth. A variety of tooth brushes can be found on the market today, for example round-bristled ones with a smaller part which gets to every corner of your mouth, or electric brushes. There are also various toothpastes with a triple effect. A lot of sugar-free chewing gums which reduce acids from food can be found on the market. We can also use fluoride products which prevent cavities.

A good dental care also includes the floss and interdental brushes which are used to remove food rests from interdental parts (the space between two teeth). They cannot be reached with the normal toothbrush. Sugar-free chewing-gums, especially the ones that contain Xylitol,are a good helping device for cleaning your teeth after a meal if you cannot clean them with a toothbrush and toothpaste. .

Balanced diet is also very important in preventing tooth decay and gum diseases. Food containing fruit and vegetables is recommended, whereas food containing lots of sugar should be avoided, especially if we cannot brush our teeth after the meal.

Proper cleaning of our teeth should last for at least 2-3 minutes. The toothbrush must be held at a 45 degree angle towards the gums line, the movements must be short and steady aiming at the inner, outer and chewing part of each tooth. A toothbrush should be changed every three to four months.

Last but not least, good dental health requires regular check-ups with your dentist who will remove soft and hard deposits on your teeth, treat your tooth for cavity if necessary, and give you instructions about dental hygiene.